British American Tobacco ups stake in cannabis producer Organigram

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British American Tobacco is investing another 6.35 million Canadian dollars ($5.1 million) in Organigram, increasing its stake in the Atlantic Canada-based cannabis producer to 19.5%, the companies announced.

Last year, British American Tobacco (BAT) sealed a strategic collaboration with Organigram via a CA$220 million investment. The partnership has a focus on research and product development.

BAT said it increased its investment by purchasing 2,659,716 Organigram common shares at an average price of CA$2.39, for gross proceeds of CA$6.35 million.

“Innovation is an important cornerstone of Organigram’s core strategy and the Product Development Collaboration with BAT underscores our commitment to the development of disruptive, consumer-focused cannabis products,” Organigram CEO Beena Goldenberg said in a statement.

“We are pleased with the successful launch of the PDC and the progress we are making so far.”

The move bolsters Organigram’s cash position of CA$168 million.

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Cash has become increasingly important in the Canadian cannabis industry, as capital is much harder to come by compared to previous years, when investors indiscriminately funded cannabis companies.

Organigram shares trade as OGI on the Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange.